Thiruvanthapuram, Sept 12: With Om at Kerala’s doorstep, one thing common to all households would be the most popular 26 dish Om sadya — verily the Mother of all vegetarian meals in the state. Of the three Om days, including the first, second and third Om, which begins from Sep 13, it’s the “Thiruom”, the second day, which is the highlight as this is when the sadya is served on a plantain leaf and eaten with the hands.
Even though the common meal at most Hindu marriages in Kerala is the sadya, it’s the one served on Om that wins hands down simply because it binds practically every Keralite, as the harvest festival is celebrated irrespective of religion.
The mouth-watering lunch includes chips, poppadoms, various vegetables, a variety of sweet and sour pickles, the traditiol aviyal, sambar, dal along with a small quantity of ghee, rasam, two different kinds of buttermilk, a chutney powder prepared from grated coconut and a series of payasams eaten either straight or mixed with a small ripe plantain.
“This is the first time in recent times that our family is coming together. It was a unimous decision that this time we will celebrate Om in its true sense and will prepare our sadya at our ancestral home. This is to relive the Om that this house had seen for several years,” said Malini Sukumaran who arrived in Thiruvalla with her family from Doha and is now waiting for the arrival of her three siblings.
But 70-year-old Devaki ir, a retired teacher, is not pleased with the way things take place during Om — be it the meals or the festivities.
“I remember in my younger days, in the run-up to Om, the activities would begin at least a month before. My father used to ensure that all the essential items, including vegetables, are either readied for harvesting or sourced from other homes or markets a few days before Thiruom. As a result, the best produce used to be in our kitchen,” said ir, who lives alone at her home near Kottayam and is now waiting the arrival of her son and his family from Kuwait. (IANS)